Midway through Saturday’s matinee between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers, things were already chippy. Then they escalated to near melee when Ryan McDonagh and Wayne Simmonds got into it away from the play.
Check it out:
As the video shows, McDonagh hits the ice when getting a punch to the jaw from Simmonds. He stayed down for a while before going straight to the dressing room. The Rangers later announced he would not return to game. New York Daily News reports McDonagh has a “likely head injury and possible concussion.”
McDonagh was assessed two minor penalties for slashing and high-sticking for his involvement on this play prior to Simmond’s penalty:
— JHunterJokes (@jhuntercomedy) February 6, 2016
Flyers fans are screaming cross-check to the head that needed to be answered. Rangers fans are screaming Simmonds went for check and McDonagh braced.
Simmonds’s punishment was more severe. He was given a 10 minute game misconduct and a 10 minute match penalty for “deliberate injury” to McDonagh. As with any match penalty, Simmonds is otherwise suspended until the Department of Player Safety weighs in on his fate. The department can either rescind the penalty or add time on.
Simmonds is one of those players who plays very, very close to the edge between legal and illegal. He leads the Flyers in goals with 18 and penalty minutes at 90. He’s never been suspended before, which is somewhat surprising.
Hit with a 10 minute match on the books, the Flyers had a five minute major and with the penalty to McDonagh, the teams played 4-on-4 for four minutes. The Blueshirts went on the power play for a minute and did not score.
Losing both players for any amount of time could have a big impact for their respective team. The Rangers are holding tenuously on to a playoff spot in the Metro. Philadelphia is on the outside looking in. Prior to the end of the games today, the Flyers are 4 points away from the third playoff spot in the Metro and either Wild Card position currently held by Detroit and New Jersey.
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